So the plan was to take the live system that we built, which works pretty well, and add a bunch of cool features to it, and turn it loose to the public at 12:01 central time last night.
Well, We kinda missed the mark. But our product IS up and it IS live and public facing. It DOES NOT have all the features. I just got home, so that tells you we didn't quite make midnight.
But soon we'll roll all the cool(er) features in.
Once the features are added, I'll show you guys some REALLY cool stuff.
Right now, I used it to build an AIM bot that searches here, macosxhints, macworld, and lowendmac. That's right. Search over AIM using only the sites I want it to use. We call it BYOMS (Build Your Own Mobile Search). And I might say it's pretty flippin' nifty. The creator of each chat bot (we call them BYOMS) can exhastively tweak and modify the sites and kinds of results their BYOMS give. Mine isn't tweaked much because I'm tired. I got here at 3:00 yesterday afternoon, didn't leave till 7:00 This morning, and was back at work by noon.
Anyhow, add "TheMacResource" as a buddy to your AIM and start asking away. The cool thing about our system is that it tries, whenever possible, to locate complete sentences to reply to you, so it's pretty conversational, depending on how good the sites are that you reference. Remember, this is BETA and I might also take my buddy offline for a while if I want to make some changes. It might also crash or something.
Also, probably the coolest thing I've seen was the Wikipedia one we did. Add "BYOMSWikipedia" to your AIM buddy list and start asking it reference questions or feed it keywords. It's amazing!
Also, before the flame wars begin, this system IS capable of using other chat protocols, like MSN, yahoo, and Jabber (works on Google Talk, for example). We just use AIM for a few reason. First, we're an all-mac shop (in the office) and most of us have .mac accounts which go to AIM for iChat, and next, AIM has better HTML support than other chat clients.
This all runs on the OpenBSD server cluster I manage (yes there's a Terabyte worth of XServe RAID there):
Tom, or any of the good Dr's... feel free to tag me and I'll hook you up with the ability to make your own chat bots. I think you guys would probably like playing with it